Popular with cyclists, runners and walkers, this 12-mile trail (and 24-mile out-and-back) on Tucson's north side follows the banks of the usually-dry Rillito—Spanish for "little river." Both riverbanks feature developed trails and this route criss-crosses traffic and pedestrian bridges to sample this bike-friendly route's best features.
Starting at the Craycroft Road trailhead, follow the asphalt path along the north bank, heading west. The trail dips under major roads and hits one of only two street-level crossings at Dodge Boulevard near mile 2.6. This route crosses the river three times: at a pedestrian bridge near mile 3.8, on the sidewalk of Campbell Road—watch for bats nesting in the cracks under the bridge—and to avoid the pedestrian-only stretch before the north-bank terminus. Though this east-west route looses about 200 feet of elevation, the incline is barely noticeable on the return trip.
Restrooms, mid-ride rest points and easy-access parking are located conveniently along the trail, but bring plenty of water (especially in summer) and protect yourself from the sun. Though you'll cruise under occasional trees, there is little shade along this route.
TO TRAILHEAD: The Rillito River Path is easily accesses from several points along the river, on Tucson's north side. To access the Craycroft Road Trailhead, take Craycroft Road north and make an immediate left into the parking area after crossing over the Rillito River.
Distance: 12.04 mi
Total Time: none
Speed: 0.0 mph
Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none
Speed: 0.0 mph
Pace: 0:00 / mi
Points of Interest
Location: 32.270683, -110.875552
There is plenty of parking at the Rillito River Path's eastern terminus, just off Craycroft Road on the northeast side of town.
Location: 32.270592, -110.892051
The trail is accessible from many places, including this lot on North Swan Road that also offers plenty of parking.
Location: 32.272018, -110.914265
Use caution crossing Dogde Blvd.; this is one of the few street-level crossings on the trail.
Location: 32.282126, -110.927383
Turn left and cross the riverbed on Country Club Bridge. The trail along the river's south bank is paved, but the north bank trial west of here is not.
Location: 32.284956, -110.943498
St. Phillips Plaza near the ride's half-way point may be a good turn around spot if you're strapped for time. This parking lot also hosts the local farmers markets on Sundays year round.
Location: 32.294878, -110.985021
There are restrooms, sports fields, and large granite tablets honoring Tucson's children at this memorial park just before mile 8.
Location: 32.303140, -111.011950
After nearly 5 miles on the Rillito's north side, turn left to cross the La Cholla Bridge. Bikes aren't allowed on the north side of the bridge west of here.
Location: 32.310050, -111.037396
Use caution on this street-level crossing of Camino La Tierra.
Location: 32.315408, -111.043605
The paved trail ends 12 miles west of Craycroft just east of I-10. Dirt trails and service roads continue west to Santa Cruz River but they aren't established cycling routes.
Choose to make the trip public, private, or use a secret link.
Copy the link below, then save the changes, then send the link to your friends.
Public: Anyone on the Internet can find and access the trip. No sign-in required.
May appear on your profile or search results.
Limited (Secret Link): Anyone who has the link can access the trip. No sign-in
required. Will not appear on your public profile or search results. The secret link
can be removed or regenerated at any time.
Private: You are the only person who can access the trip.
*Note: If a trip's visibility is changed from secret link, the previous value
will be invalidated and cannot be used again.
Warning: Once this trip is deleted, you will no longer be able to access it on the website or in your mobile apps. Are you sure you want to delete the trip "Tucson, AZ: Rillito River Path"?